Not-So-Still Life

Not-So-Still Life

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes
(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday;this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings:and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)
how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any—lifted from the no
of all nothing—human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?
(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)
—e.e.cummings (No.65 from XAIPE)

Lucked out this morning…had one of those serendipitous moments of everyday gorgeousness as I sat down to breakfast by myself.

It was cold on deck and I wasn’t feeling particularly inspired. I pinned a bedsheet to the clothesline to air it, then shuffled around getting something to eat. I had wolfed down most of the kalamata bread in dry chunks, had peeled and quartered an orange, and was about to pour a second coffee and bundle away to my work table inside (out of the wind and cold) when the arrangement on the table in front of me stopped me in my tracks. All I had to do was move that old brass lamp a little to the left, and take the picture.

The sheer unlikelihood of an arrangement like this forming by itself, in our utilitarian and generally unattractive home—rather than having gone around trying to set things up for a photo—and then my having spotted it even though I wasn’t feeling creative or receptive to anything, strikes me as being ten times more precious than the beautiful or attractive things that I work on, think about, influence and pour my creative resources into.

And it made me wonder whether there mightn’t be two kinds of creativity—the kind that imposes itself upon the world, making something out of nothing, “breeding Lilacs out of the dead land…” sort of thing…and the kind that simply looks around, and sees the beauty and perfection that has always just been there—and which one would I prefer to have?

Or maybe they are two sides of one coin, and you cannot have one without the other?


9 thoughts on “Not-So-Still Life

  1. Hey I was searching for stuff about Brown Sugar and stumbled across this post. It’s awesome! The poem is beautiful and the photo is amazing!
    I’ve become addicted to that sourdough bread with the olives in it. It tastes good no matter how old it gets.
    This might seem weird but there’s something about the photo that reminded me of the album cover of American Pie.


    1. Brown Sugar, the infamous coffee pusher in a caravan, of Darwin? I think I have an old post about that, too, though no doubt you’ve seen the article recently. The photo WAS amazing! Perfection must be happening all the time, nobody around to see it most of the time, but once in a while you look up and BAM, the world in front of your eyes is straight out of Vermeer.
      I don’t know what the cover of American Pie looked like…of course now I will have to Google it. 😉


    1. How I love that here you have just given birth, and are still all cerebral art and philosophy, Eunoia! LOL it’s refreshing to know someone who hasn’t gone mind-numbingly clucky with the birth of her first child. 😉


  2. I think it is one thing – the way you see the world around. You are an artist so you are able to notice these happenings. You can SEE. And, probably, that’s why you can CREATE.


    1. Yes, Bozena, that’s the sense I got, too…that ultimately it comes to one thing. Yet it felt different to have simply SEEN this, from the usual running around trying to rearrange things, or hide unwanted backgrounds (all that stuff that every blogger-turned-stylist does) 🙂


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